I take an experienced, no hype approach in helping the client understand the scope and solution to their microbial issue. As an expert witness with a science and building industry background I seek to understand all the underlying issues supported by unbiased data to assist the client in making critical decisions regarding their health and property.
Mold and mold spores are found both indoors and outdoors in the air and on surfaces. They are decompsers of organic matter such as wood, plants, fabric, and animals. Where there is decaying organic matter you will find greater concentrations of mold spores.
Outdoor mold spores commonly can enter a building through the air or by becoming attached to people, animals, or th other materials that are moved into a building. Mold spores cannot be seen with the naked eye. Mold grows similar to a plant with roots, limbs (hyphae) and seeds (spores). Spores are resilient and are built to withstand all environments including the Poles. Once the mold spores settle onto a substrate that has moisture on it they will germinate. A visible mold colony can have million of mold spores. A colony will grow if moisture continues to be present. Once the moisture has died the colony will stop growing. However, mold does not die it simply becomes inactive until another water source is introduced. Inactive mold can be as dangerous as active mold growth.
Preventing water damage, high humidity and condensation will prevent mold growth. Water damage that is present between 24-48 hours can begin to grow mold. Once mold has begun to grow professional removal of the affected areas is recommended to prevent cross-contamination. If materials are improperly removed, or an area is simply wiped clean or painted over on the surface, the spores often will become airborne causing further contamination to the home and occupants.
We are all exposed to mold on a daily basis. Whether or not symptoms develop in people exposed to mold depends on the nature of the mold (allergenic, toxigenic, or infectious), the exposure level, and the susceptibility of the exposed persons. Susceptibility varies with the genetic predisposition, age, pre-existing medical conditions, compromise of the immune system and degree of exposure. The following groups are among those with a higher risk for adverse health effects from mold exposure:
Infants, Children, Elderly, Pregnant Women, those with allergies, individuals with respiratory problems, chemical sensitivity or asthma, those whose immune system is compromised such as cancer, AIDS, transplant patients, those on kidney dialysis, etc. and individuals recovering from surgery.
Certain mold species can produce toxins, called mycotoxins that mold uses to inhibit or kill the growth of other molds. These toxins are found in both living and dormant molds of certain species like Stachybotrys Chartarum and Aspergilus Fumigatus. Regardless of the mold being toxigenic or not materials permeated with mold need to be removed professionally.
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IAQA - Indoor Air Quality Association
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